Territories Between Us

Territories between us, and the sites at which we meet.

Territories Between Us foregrounds embodied ways of knowing, delving into various subjectivities to point to the many ways our existences are territorialised by structures – both visible and invisible. By engaging works that oscillate between disciplines, modes of working, or tether on the borders of these territories, the exhibition attempts to inch away from the ‘counterstance’, to explore a restored existence. 

In the exhibition, works by a number of contemporary artists are used as a point of departure to interrogate ideas of place, and the comp exities of belonging while also asking questions relating to current areas of thought at this moment in relation to contemporary art collections. Thinking about how collections negotiate questions of representation, access, and visibility, the exhibition seeks to invite visitors to ask challenging questions of the permanent collection while simultaneously using it as a tool to think through various contemporary concerns. 

The exhibition draws works from the collection in conversation with artistic intervention and works outside the collection. 


  • Bronwyn Katz
  • Donna Kukama
  • Helena Uambembe
  • Moshekwa Langa
  • Nyakallo Maleke
  • Senzeni Marasela
  • Simnikiwe Buhlungu
  • Teresa Firmino
  • Zyma Amien


Helena Uambembe – Those that we left behind (Performance)

Video Credit: Dean Saville Media

As a participating artist in the exhibition Territories Between Us, currently on view at the Iziko South African National Gallery, Uambembe conceptualised a performance to accompany her installation – Those that we left behind (2021). Set within the installation made up of soil and an aluminium fence, this performance presents further interrogations on the work, reflecting on the artist's recent trip to Angola, where she visited Luanda and Cunene Province. Through this performance Uambembe explores what is invoked by the process of moving through lands, borders and territories, as well as notions of home. Uambembe invokes the various stories she has encountered throughout her practice from women who recount memories of crossing borders, mostly at night and questioning what trails are left behind and the trails these movement inscribe on the body. 

Soil, a material present in her practice and in this particular work symbolises notions of burial and traces. In this performance the incorporation of bright river sand connects to arid desert terrains and the healing and spiritual properties of the ocean is juxtaposition with the rich dark soil reminiscent of more tropical terrains. 

Tšhegofatšo Mabaso 
Phone: 021 467 7234
Email: tmabaso@iziko.org.za 

Read more about the exhibition